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Value Creation Blog

Do You Fudge Your Answers?

Posted by Josh Patrick

whitelies resized 600Sometimes we stretch the truth.  Sometimes we say things are just a little better than they really are.  We think we’re better looking, make more money, or spend less money than we really do. 

Are these little white lies dangerous?  That all depends.  If you want to create extraordinary results, I think they are.

But it’s only a little exaggeration.

It’s only a little different from what we are doing.  If that’s a thought you have you might be doing yourself and those around you a huge disservice. 

The problem with those little white lies is they get bigger.  Soon it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s little and what’s way off.  After a while you actually convince yourself you’re doing a good job when in fact things are pretty ragged.

If you think things are really pretty good, where’s the motivation for improvement?  If you really know where you stand you might find that an unattractive place to be.  It’s important to be uncomfortable when you need to be uncomfortable.

Why is it so important that we get rid of fudging our answers?

We won’t take action if we think things are better than they really are.  If you’re getting ready for retirement and you think you spend $60,000 per year you might have enough assets to make it.  What if the real answer is that you spend $90,000 per year? 

$90,000 might cause you some real pain.  You’ve convinced yourself that you spend $60,000.  There’s no reason to save more money.  You’re on track for a comfortable retirement. 

Then, the day comes.  You actually sit down and plan to turn in your retirement papers.  You take out your checkbook and add up what you spent last year.  The day of reckoning comes and you learn you can’t retire.  What will that day feel like?

When we demand great performance we get great performance.

If you own a business and you want great performance you need to know where you are today.  When I speak with owners about how effective they are I almost always get an answer that’s two or three times better than it really is.

If you want extraordinary performance you can’t allow those you work with to fudge their answers.  It might make you feel better, but it’s keeping you from being world class.  If being ordinary is OK for you, then keep getting answers that aren’t exactly true.

The more specific and accurate we are the better our results.

Once we stop fudging our answers, we can put realistic plans in place to improve what we’re getting.  We can be specific about changes that need to be made.  Those around us will pay attention because we’re bringing the dark scary things out of the closet. 

It’s hard to be honest with ourselves and it’s hard to stop fudging our results.  Once we do, we find that getting rid of rounding errors allows us to be more specific about what’s next. 

Being specific is where the real action happens.  The more specific you can be, the better your chance is for getting extraordinary results.  It all starts with being honest with yourself so you know where you really stand.

Are you ready for personal honesty?  If you’re ready, the results will be very satisfying.

Part of great personal honesty is knowing how salable your business is.  We’ve put together a method for you to test your business salability.  This report will tell you where your business is strong and where you can improve.  But, to get great value from this report, you’re going to have to be honest in your answers.  Are you ready to be honest with yourself?  If so, click on the button below and get your personalized report.


Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

This article is published for residents of the United States only.  Registered Representatives and Investment Adviser Representatives of NFP Securities, Inc. may only conduct business with residents of the states and jurisdictions in which they are properly registered.  Therefore, a response to a request for information may be delayed.  Not all of the products and services referenced on this site are available in every state and through every representative or advisor listed.

Topics: cultural change, value creation, communication, trust

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